Definition of cholla
: any of numerous shrubby opuntias chiefly of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico that have needlelike spines partly enclosed in a papery sheath and cylindrical joints —called also cholla cactus
Recent Examples of cholla from the Web
Bighorn sheep amble past fields of cholla cactuses on the coral-colored hills that lead down from Oatman to Topock.
As the sun dips, the sky blazes orange over the supernatural vista of gnarled Joshua trees and spiky cholla cactuses.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cholla'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
A shrubby cactus chiefly of the southwestern United States and Mexico, a cholla has cylindrical joints and needlelike spines partly enclosed in a papery sheath. Chollas vary greatly in size and have small flowers that are sometimes yellow-green and inconspicuous, but usually of more striking colors. One cholla, the desert Christmas cactus, bears bright red fruits through the winter. Living plants serve as food for desert animals. Cholla wood, a hollow cylinder with regularly spaced holes, is used for fuel and decorative novelties. Some cholla fruit is edible.
Origin and Etymology of cholla
Mexican Spanish, from Spanish, head
First Known Use: 1846See Words from the same year
Seen and Heard
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